But we do have mountain and mountains of books.
Over the course of our 11 moves, we have downsized our collection only slightly, pausing here or there as we pack the 15th book box to toss a duplicate copy in the donation pile.
And when I do try to purge some of the less-enjoyed volumes, the Hubs always catches me and subverts my attempts: “I LOVE that one! No, no, we might want that someday. You can’t get rid of books!” (in a tone that implies something holy is being desecrated)
So, as we are both avid readers (albeit with differing styles–Hubs starts and finishes one. book. at. a. time. I usually have about 6 going at once, can leave one unfinished for a year before returning to it–or not returning to it–and often read chapters out of order), addicted to Amazon Prime, and evidently can’t part with the extras, we are building a veritable Library of Congress over here in FarmTown.
But, for all our love for books, when I had our first baby, I found myself at a loss for what to read her. My own childhood books (which were mostly great–thanks, Mom) were packed away and baby brain left me helpless at remembering the good ones.
I knew I wanted excellent ones–with engaging stories that reflected goodness and truth and illustrations that were beautiful, interesting, or inspiring. (Too much to ask from a boardbook? Maybe).
Thus, I went on a hunt for quality children’s books to build our kids’ libraries with. One of the best resources I came across was Honey for a Child’s Heart. It gives a great annotated list of recommended books for different age groups.
Read for the Heart is similar and looks fantastic. I will be purchasing it as soon as I pay off my vet bills. (Sigh. A story for another day).
From these sources and my own childhood favorites, I have compiled a short list of lovely books for children:
(In no particular order or age-grouping, though most tend to run on the 5 and under side)
The Original Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne (To be fully enjoyed by the child, my guess is they should be closer to ten, but I enjoy it enough for both the Bun and I for now).
The Brambly Hedge series by Jill Barklem (Incredible illustrations, sweet stories of mice set in the English countryside. Even the Hubs is a fan).
Animalia by Graeme Base (Holy moly, this book is a work of art).
Peek a Boo by Janet and Allan Alhberg (A sweet rendition of the game, it tells the story of a day from a baby’s perspective. I like this British couple’s style).
The Brave Cowboy by Joan Walsh Anglund (Probably Hubs’s favorite to read to the Bun).
Jamberry by Bruce Degen (My own childhood favorite and, often, the Bun’s).
The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown (beautifully illustrated, sweet story of a bunny and a duckling)
It’s Time for Bed by Mem Fox (Love, love the illustrations. We need this one in board book format).
The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear (Little Golden Book version)
You are Special by Max Lucado (True, poignant).
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones (Makes for fantastic post partum devotional reading, or so I found. Keep kleenexes near. Every story points to Christ).
Here’s to quiet, beautiful moments of reading–with your babies or simply with a cup of coffee.
What’s your favorite children’s book? I’d love to hear!